Health Care Spending Paper
Professor Susan McCourt
August 22, 2011
This paper will include: the current health care expenditures whether spending is too much or not enough, where the nation should add or cut, how the public’s health care needs are paid and provide a forecast for: the future economic needs, why these needs must be addressed, how I envision these needs will be financed and conclusion.
Current Health Expenditures
Health care costs have been rising for several years. Expenditures in the United States on health care surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990, and over eight times the $253 billion spent in 1980. Stemming this growth has become a major policy priority, as the government, employers, and consumers increasingly struggle to keep up with health care cost. Hospital spending, the largest share of overall health care spending, is a major driver of increased costs The current national expenditure have tripled over the last decade especially in hospital care, physician/clinical services and drug ( Kaiser, 2010). The United States is at an all time high in health care. In the health care system there are some factors that contribute to this increase. It is getting to the point that more and more Americans cannot afford health care, because of the cost of health care is getting harder to maintain for their families.
Whether Spending is too much or not enough
It is difficult to pin point one exact factor why spending is escalating. The chart below states that hospital care, physician/clinical services and prescription drugs are where the most spending is taking place (Kaiser, 2010). This shows we are spending too much, especially in these top three categories listed. When health care cost is steadily increasing, so we are spending a great deal in the list above.
National Health Expenditures, 2008 [pic]
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group
Where the Nation Should Add or Cut
Medicare and Medicaid account for a significant share of health care spending (Kaiser, 2010) and also according to the above chart we could cut in the hospital care, physician/clinical services and prescription drugs. This is why we need to cut as far as the nation is concerned because these government programs Medicare and Medicaid are funding health cost at a steady growth. We have to work on controlling this program before it controls us. If we do not start cutting from somewhere we will be in a serious deficit for health care in the United States. Then we need to cut prescription drugs cost, so it can be affordable to everyone, so the government needs to intercede the pharmaceutical companies closely to manage this expense.
How the Public’s Health Care needs are Paid
Although Americans benefit from many of the investments in health care, the recent rapid cost growth, coupled with an overall economic slowdown and rising federal deficit, is placing great strains on the systems used to finance health care, including private employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and public insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid ( Kaiser, 2010 ). The public’s health care payments are paid by Medicaid and Medicare if eligible for this government health program and other private health insurance companies, for example: Blue cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna and United Health Care are just a few the public health care is paid. There are some people who pay out of pocket, whether they can afford it or not.
References: Access My Library. (2004). Health Care Spending Hits 1.6 Trillion in 2002, Rising More Than Twice as Fast as U.S. Economy. Retrieved from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-19942976_ITM
Chavis, S. (2011). Cloudy Forecast for Health. For the Record, 23(4), 10.
Getzen, T., Moore, J. (2007). Wiley Pathways health care Economics (1st. ed.). John Wiley & Sons.
Kaiser. (2010). U.S. Health Care Costs. Retrieved from http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue- Modules/US-Health-Care-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx#.
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